The Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPASA) welcomes the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the ban on tobacco and related products has been lifted.
The vaping industry has been left crippled after four and a half months of not being allowed to trade, and this decision has come just in time to avoid a total collapse of the sector. It will, however, come too late for the many electronic vapour product (EVP) businesses that have been forced to permanently close their doors due to the prohibition on sales imposed by the Government.
Aside from inflicting severe damage on the industry and the country from an economic perspective, the ban on tobacco and related products has likely also forced people who previously used vaping as a less harmful alternative to smoking, to return to cigarettes. It is common knowledge that illicit cigarettes have been widely available in South Africa during the lockdown.
We hope that the lifting of the ban will drive not only economic recovery but also open the way for more smokers to again choose less harmful products.